People who’ve had prolonged asbestos exposure usually get serious health problems. Asbestos-related ailments can take a long time before manifesting, and the patient may notice symptoms when the disease has spread. Treating mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illness is draining, both financially and emotionally.
It’s necessary to note that asbestos exposure can also lead to other non-cancerous diseases, but they are also severe health threats. The common non-cancerous conditions are:
Asbestosis: The patient experiences difficulty breathing and chest pains, and in severe cases, a patient can get cardiac failure.
Pleural Effusion: The condition is characterized by fluid build-up in the lungs, which may cause chest pain, dry cough, and difficulty breathing.
Pleural Plaques: After inhaling asbestos, the fibers may form plaques that may not show any symptoms. According to British Lung Foundation, these plaques aren’t dangerous and do not spread or thicken. However, if they do, they may indicate the presence of cancer cells.
This cancer affects the mesothelium linings in the lungs, abdomen, chest, and other organs. There are four mesothelioma cancers, namely, testicular, peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial, and pleural mesothelioma. However, these cancers do not manifest quickly, and they may take 15-60 years.
Symptoms of mesothelioma are; abdominal or chest pains, weight loss, fever, shortness of breath, and difficulties while swallowing. There is no proven cure for mesothelioma, but doctors use chemotherapy, surgeries, or radiation to treat patients. Victims of asbestos-related diseases can get compensation through a lawsuit. Learn more and understand where to get help in case of mesothelioma compensation.
- Ovarian cancer
Studies by International Agency for Research on Cancer showed that long-term asbestos exposure is linked to ovarian cancer. Most ovarian cancer patients complain of bloating, increased urge to urinate, abdominal and pelvic pains, and feeling full after eating small amounts of food. The standard treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.
- Lung Cancer
Inhaled asbestos fibers can camp in the lungs or their lining and cause small-cell or non-small-cell lung cancer. Patients with either type of cancer experience shortness of breath, chest pain, weight and appetite loss, prolonged coughs, and wheezing. Depending on the cancer stage, the doctor may use radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, and other treatment to cure the patient.
- Laryngeal Cancer
Asbestos exposure, smoking, and excessive consumption of alcohol are the primary cause of laryngeal cancer. Other studies have shown that the larynx can get damaged by inhaling asbestos which causes inflammation, cancer, and poor airflow to the lungs. Patients with this cancer exhibit the following symptoms; weight loss, ear pain, pain while swallowing, hoarseness, sore throat, chronic coughs, and breathing problems.
- Stomach Cancer
In most cases, stomach cancer affects the gastroesophageal junction or the main stomach. Inhaled asbestos can sneak down to the stomach and lodge there for a long term, and this may cause cancer. Significant symptoms of stomach cancer are; bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
The signs and symptoms of the asbestos-related disease may take a long before manifesting. Thus, doctors advise those who’ve had exposure to asbestos or asbestos product to seek medical help early to detect any form of cancer.